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The Vatican Latest

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Came back from a short holiday in Rome last week, and this is what I've found.

Vatican Museums. Had a booking for Tuesday AM, and the line for non-reserved entry was quite long - perhaps 1-2 hour wait. No problems with online booking. Walked straight in, minutes to complete security, exchanged for tickets and headed for the picture gallery. Museums were busy but hardly heaving, and the Sistine Chapel was quite doable, as tour groups only stay for 10 min or so and move on. No problems using the group-only exit on the right. Nobody was checking.

St Peter's - Security line was moving pretty fast. No restrictions on entering the Grotto, but some parts of it were roped off. Line for the dome but quite short wait time - maybe 10 min. As for the dress code, because of high temperature, they were only turning away those with short shorts/skirts, and anyone with hem up to around 4" above knees were being let in. Still best to carry a scarf/sarong. All public Masses are in Italian only, and while anyone can attend, officials are stopping people taking photos and two security guards were watching as people went up to communion, which can be unnerving but understandable.

Scavi tour - didn't do it this time but to get to Scavi office, you need to clear security in a prefab hut and show your reservation to the Swiss guard/security at the gate just to the left of the colonnade.

Credit cards - freely taken in the Vatican Shops. Museum entry is cash only, unless you have reserved and paid online.

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